Posts

Tony Fiammetta – Large Part Of Running Game

It has been a up and down season for fullback Tony Fiammetta.  The 2009 4th round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers was waived September 3, 2011, after battling concussion issues.  The Cowboys claimed him September 4, 2011, but was waived just four days later.  Then he re-signed with Dallas on September 13th.

We know as Cowboy fans, that to have a solid running game a fullback is needed.  A good example is Emmitt Smith and Moose Daryl  Johnson.  DeMarco Murray ackowledged the improved running game when he’s behind him.  ” Tony does a great job and I’m looking forward to having him back this week.”

In four games behind Fiammetta, Murray rushed for 611 yards. In the last three games that Tony was out due to illness with a inner-ear infection his running game fell to 198 yards.  Yes, it could be due to the teams we have played, but I think having a good fullback makes a large difference no matter what defense we are facing.

It is interesting that both Fiammetta and Moose attended Syracuse.  I am not going to quote stats like I usually do because as we all know, a fullback’s most important job  – his blocking isn’t listed in the stats.    Pro Football Weekly did name Fiammetta as their first team All-American fullback.  He also participated in the 2009 Senior Bowl.

As I do research for these articles what I find most interesting is their pre-college history.

For example Tony’s full name is Placido Anthony “Tony” Fiammetta.  He was born in Kaneohe, Hawaii August 22, 1986 to parents Vince and Esther Fiammetta. He was raised in Maryland where he attented Walkersville High School. He played both football and lacrosse all four years, and wrestled for one year. His Senior year he played one game , and  broke his leg after recording 144 yards and had three touchdowns on 19 carries.

Who thinks the Cowboys will have a better running game with Fiammetta tonight?

Or do you disagree with me and think the Cowboys don’t need a fullback like they did earlier this season?  Let me know.

LSS Extra Points: The Best and the Rest

The Dallas Morning News is putting 16 Cowboys head to head to find out who is the BEST Dallas Cowboys player according to fans.

Vote for the best Dallas Cowboys player here.

***

NFL Analyst Vic Carucci has the Cowboys winning the division:

The case for the Cowboys: They should be even stronger than the team that won the division in 2009. Tony Romo continues to make strides as a top-notch quarterback. He’s more mature and focused, and was able to blossom last season as the unquestioned leader of the team. Much of the offseason discussion has dealt with the expected game-breaking complement that first-round pick Dez Bryant will provide established receiving star Miles Austin and tight end Jason Witten. But the Cowboys have much more than an explosive passing attack. Their running game is among the best in the league and they have a championship-caliber defense.

***

Ex- Cowboy Flozell Adams worked out with the Steelers yesterday. The Steelers lost their starting right tackle Willie Colon after he suffered an Achilles injury on Monday. However there is no deal and according to NFL.com:

The Steelers got the impression Adams is not ready to make a decision, and money could be an issue as well. Adams, who was scheduled to earn over $7 million with Dallas prior to his release, is looking to earn $4 million for 2010, according to the source. The Steelers were hesitant to go that high.

Umm, Flozell give it up buddy you aren’t worth the big bucks anymore.

***

If you love the Cowboys and enjoy writing, consider blogging for one of the best Cowboys fan sites on the net, Lone Star Struck. We have plenty of roles available and all you need is your passion for the Cowboys and basic writing skills. For more information click here.

Cowboys End Playoff Drought; Dominate Eagles 34 – 14

As the final seconds of the game tick away, and I watch Tony Romo walk off the field I notice something very interesting. The monkey is gone! The Dallas Cowboys have finally ended their prolonged 13 year playoff drought. Not only did they end this drought with a win over a rival team in the NFC East, They ended it with one of the most dominating performances ever put on in the playoffs.

Tony Romo was once again at the top of his game putting on a clinic for the fans to see. Picking apart the eagles defense, converting 3rd long like it was 3rd and inches. Throwing 23/35 passes for 244 yards 2 touchdowns and no interceptions, thanks to Wade Phillips for what could be considered the best coaching move he has made as a head coach for the Dallas Cowboys and challenging what at first seemed to be an amazing interception. Romo proved once again, give him time in the pocket and he will pick apart a defense.

Just as the last 2 meetings in the regular season against the Eagles, the Dallas running game was unstoppable. Dallas rushed for a total 198 yards on 35 carries between our 3 top running backs. With Felix Jones leading the way with a 73 yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter and putting the final nail in the coffin of the Eagles.

I wrote an article a couple months back about when the game was fun and how if we could get back to remembering it was fun to play the game, and then the wins would come. I mention that previous article because the way that the defense is playing and not letting the opponents come anywhere close to clicking and getting any kind of rhythm, The offense has fun while on the field. Think back to when Romo threw that little 6 yard screen touchdown pass to Miles Austin. When they showed Romo running down to congratulate Austin, Romo reached over and gave the Ref a “man” pat as he ran by him. Romo had the biggest smile on his face he has had all season. THAT is having fun. THAT is what we need.

What to say about our defense. I could mention what this player and that player did. How this player got a sack or that player made a great deflection. However, it was a total team defense that made this game possible. It was whole defense that made plays; it was every player on the field at any time doing exactly what they had to do to make things happen. Did any one player “stand” out? Of course they did, matter of fact a couple of different players stood out. But that does not mean the other players did not “play their roll”. It was a total TEAM effort.

Congratulations to the Dallas Cowboys for ending their playoff drought. Let’s go out and get another win next week against the Minnesota Vikings and continue our run to the Super Bowl!!!!!

GO COWBOYS!!!!!!!

LSS Featured in Dallas Morning News

cowboys fans Hey everyone, I thought I would share this with everyone, our site has been mentioned in an article in the Dallas Morning News.

Our own Joe D was interviewed by DMN’s Michael E. Young in a feature about Cowboys fans.

Great job Joe, we are so proud! ;)

Follow the link below for the full story.

Cowboys fans put past behind ahead of Eagles playoff game

Here’s an excerpt that features Joe D:

After 13 years of playoff frustration – and an 0-6 record in those win-or-go-home games – many Dallas Cowboys fans look at tonight’s game against Philadelphia with cautious optimism and a healthy respect for the past.

That’s Joe DeCaro’s take, anyway, and this lifelong Cowboys fan from New York City – a staff blogger for lonestarstruck.com – can’t understand it.

“In our weekly chats, it seems very, very few are taking the plunge and getting excited,” said DeCaro, “JoeD” to his readers. “It’s like they don’t want to jinx it.”

That’s understandable.

Sure, the ‘Boys beat the Eagles twice this year, including Sunday’s thumping in Arlington, the site of tonight’s game. And the Cowboys are on a roll, winners of three straight, two of them shutouts and the third against the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints.

The running game is clicking, Tony Romo seems to have an answer for any defensive scheme and the Cowboys “D” has been lights out. What could possibly go wrong?

Oh yeah, there was that game against the New York Giants on Jan. 13, 2008, their third matchup of the year. The high-flying Cowboys won the first two. They lost the one that really counted.

The fans haven’t forgotten.

To DeCaro, though, that was then and this is now.

Just as spring brings hope to every baseball fan, even in North Texas, DeCaro figures the parity found throughout the NFL means a few off-season changes can lift last year’s losers right into the playoff race.

“I’m very optimistic and have been all year,” he said. “I figured playoffs and believed we’d win the NFC East, no doubt about it.”

But when he saw the enthusiasm of fans in Philadelphia and New York, and then looked at Dallas, “I wondered, ‘Where’s the noise?’ “

Back To Reality

Dallas Cowboys Green BayWell Cowboys fans, it looks like we were hit with a dose of reality Sunday in Green Bay. The Cowboys offense did not show up to play and once again we are left wondering why?

It seems that when the Cowboys play teams they are supposed to beat, the other teams ends up looking like world beaters.

We had no running game to speak of (gaining only 61 yards) and Tony Romo went 24 for 39 passing, for only 251. We were left wondering what happened to Miles Austin (4 catches for 20 yards). We seen Roy Williams have his best day statistically as a Cowboy yet we seen him fumble on a 42 yard completion and he dropped another pass that he should have caught down the sideline.

We had an injury on the offensive line as Columbo went down to a broken fibula and high ankle sprain, Mike Jenkins went out with a deep bicep bruise and Ken Hamlin was lost to a high ankle sprain as well.

The day was not a good one, but now we have to regroup and beat the Washington Redskins this weekend.

This would have been a great day to get a win as the Eagles lost to San Diego and the Giants were on a bye week, however we are left with the fact that we are still in first place for now.

Lets just hope that the Redskins do not look like super bowl champs this coming weekend and leave us again wondering why?

Packers Break Cowboys’ Winning Streak, Dallas Loses 17-7

The Cowboys winning streak came to a halt today as the Packers beat the Boys 17-7. It was a strong defensive game on both sides but penalties, injuries and missed opportunities ruined the day.

green bay dallas

The most painful thing to come from this loss will be the hole that Marc Colombo leaves on the offensive line. Colombo went down in the first quarter and later it was learned that he suffered from a broken fibula. Doug Free came in to replace Colombo and immediately failed to protect Romo.

There was an injury scare with Bradie James who returned to play, and Ken Hamlin left the game with an ankle injury.

Another stinger was an arm injury to corner Mike Jenkins. He returned to play but left again for good after a few minutes.

Tony Romo also took a beating from the Green Bay defense taking five sacks, while Aaron Rodgers was sacked 4 times by Dallas. Romo ended the day 24 of 29 completions, 251 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Roy Williams caught 5 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Sounds good right? No, not really. He also fumbled what would have been a 41-yard completion along with a dropped pass that could have been a game changer.

Luckily the Cowboys were able to score a touchdown in the final seconds to avoid getting shutout for the first time since December 14, 2003.

The running game was basically nonexistent. The three-headed monster combined for a measly 45 yards.

Defensively things were looking pretty good, just not good enough when your offense can’t produce and injuries sideline your starters. DeMarcus Ware had two sacks and Bobby Carpenter and Stephen Bowen recorded one sack each. Jay Ratliff was quiet, however Anthony Spencer stepped up and made several great plays.

Dallas has to pray that their injuries aren’t as bad as they seem. Of course Colombo is likely out for the season, but Jenkins and Hamlin should be able to return.

The Cowboys move on with a 6-3 record, still leading the NFC East and come back home to play the Washington Redskins for the first time this season.

Chemistry Is A Great Thing

Unfortunately, I have not been able to get to my blog this week until now. But I feel with the win we had last week, I have to write something. I am on cloud 9 right now. Our Dallas Cowboys are finally looking like they care. Like they know they have the pieces in place to win a championship. Yes, you and I have all known this for a few years now, but I really believe it is starting to sink in to them. With that said, what a great game it was last Sunday.

Once again Tony Romo had a great performance going 21/34 for 307 yards 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Even with all the talk about Roy Williams and how his chemistry with Romo was not there yet, in my opinion he had his best game yet catching 5 passes for 75 total yards. Patrick Crayton stepped up and had 2 receptions for 74 yards. Jason Whitten had the biggest catch of the game in the fourth quarter with 2 minutes to go giving Dallas a first down and solidifying the win, but finishing the day with 7 catches for 43 yards. Miles Austin once again made a strong statement as to who the real number one receiver is by catching only one pass but taking it 49 yards for what turned out to be a game winning touchdown. Ogletree, Barber and Choice all combined for a total of 6 catches for 66 total yards. Once again proving that the chemistry is not only there with Roy; but with the whole team.

We did not have our best running game with only 23 rushes for a total of 76 yards and one touchdown (by Tashard Choice)  averaging only 3.3 yards per carry and 2 tackles lost for 5 yards. Our 3rd down efficiency was not our best but not our worst going 7/15 at 46%. We finished the day with 61 total plays (including the 4 sacks for 25 yards) averaging 5.9 yards per play for a total of 358 net yards. In my opinion, an all in all a good performance.

th_celebrate-1

Once again our defense stepped up and had an outstanding performance. I wrote an article a few weeks back about our defense and the plan that our head coach Wade Phillips had for them and how he would give his expert opinion on things that needed to be done to improve the defense. Well, it turns out that Wade Phillips might actually know a thing or 2 about defense in the NFL. Although Demarcus Ware did not get a sack in this game, his presence alone made the Eagles think twice about what they wanted to do. He had 3 tackles and assisted on another. Jay Ratliff lead the team with 2 sacks and 5 tackles while Victor Butler had a sack and tackle himself.

Everyone talked about last season how our corners and safety’s always got beat deep and if anyone wanted to beat the Cowboys just go deep. Well our secondary has proven to everyone, THAT IS NOT TRUE!!!!!!! Terence Newman was once again a shut down CB that had a total of 4 tackles. On the other side of the field Mike Jenkins stepped up and had 2 tackles and one interception.  But the defensive performer of the day was our SS Gerald Sensabaugh with a total of 6 tackles and an interception.

Our defense held the Eagles to 4/12 3rd down attempts keeping it at only 33%. Stopping them on a critical 4th and inches play and taking over on downs. Our defends held them to 3.7 yards per rushing attempt and only 5.2 average yards per offensive play keeping them under 300 total yards of offense on the day.  Time of possession was pretty close throughout the game with the Cowboys having the edge at 31:44 to the Eagles 28:16. At the end of the day, the better team won. What do you say we go into Green Bay this week and continue our winning streak and come back home on a high note!

Weekly Game Balls: Week 9

Riding high on a four game winning streak feels pretty good, doesn’t it! What a great game last Sunday night, it was a perfect example of a team coming together for a victory against an intense rivalry. The teamwork executed by the Cowboys made it even harder to choose game balls this week. Of course, that’s a great problem to have. In the words of Coach Phillips, “Everybody made plays when the game was on the line.”

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Marion Barber.

Marion Barber only rushed 12 times for 50 yards, but the true reason he is receiving this week’s game ball is for what he did in the last offensive drive of the game.

According to a story told by Keith Brooking, Barber came up to the defensive players on the sidelines and said:

‘I got this, the last offensive series. Don’t you worry guys.’

He was telling his teammates that he was going to seal the deal. He knew they had worked hard and he was guaranteeing them their work was done and the win was secure.

Barber did as promised and ran three consecutive plays accumulating 23 yards.

Now that may not do anything for his fantasy ratings but in my book that makes him clutch.

Thanks for your hard work Barber!

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Jay Ratliff.

Can you say BEAST?

Jay Ratliff finished the day with 5 tackles and 2 sacks for losses of 17 yards.

I also enjoyed the story about him getting into it with Wade Phillips.

Wade Phillips told reporters a story from halftime…

“At halftime, we came in and he says, ‘My fault on the running game,’” Phillips recalled about Ratliff. “And I said, ‘No it isn’t your fault.’ He jumps back at me and said ‘ITS MY FAULT’ I said, ‘Ok it’s your fault.’ But he said he would get it corrected. And sure enough they had 16 yards rushing in the second half, so it wasn’t all his fault, he played some things different second half than he did in first half.”

Keep howling J-Rat!

Star50

Way to go to Barber and Ratliff!

Honorable Mention: Roy Williams with 5 catches and 75 yards, Gerald Sensabaugh with 6 tackles and an interception, and Mike Jenkins for just being awesome and making me shout ‘JENKS’ several times each game after he makes an amazing play.

Run Baby Run

Tashard ChoiceThe Cowboys offense did something last night that has not been done since 1979, they ran for at least 200 yards in two consecutive games.

Last night they rushed for 214 yards and that was without Marion Barber. Felix Jones was also hurt in the third quarter, but Tashard Choice kept the ball running and RUN he did.

The Cowboys’ offense was still lacking in the receiving area. Jason Witten caught the majority of passes.

I believe the Cowboys have found the running game and some say they should have kept running last week and maybe they would have beaten the Giants.

They did great despite not being able to convert twice inside the 2 yard line. The defense came up big in this game, recording 3 sacks, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Terence Newman took one back for six in the middle of the 4th quarter.

Now the Cowboys are 2-1 and maybe they have found their mojo.

Defense Adjusts In Second Half

On Sunday the Cowboys played the Buccaneers and in the first half, the Cowboys defense looked a little lost to me. They were giving up gains of 7-yards,14-yards to Tampa’s running back “Cadillac” Williams. I was not sure what the defense was doing.

C. Williams gained almost 80 yards in the first half and frankly, I was a little bit worried. I do not know what the problem was, but Tampa Bay was ripping off big gains in the running game and almost the same in the passing game.

The secondary had quite a few blown coverages. Even though Mike Jenkins was solid, he did give up some big gains. On most of them it seemed as though he thought he had help. He was not playing the right technique which allowed the receiver to get inside for easy catches.

In the second half the defense clamped down on the running game, however the secondary still gave up some big catches.

The coaches really have to look at this game and see what was going on. The Giants are next and we really need to be able to shut down the run and pass.

All in all the defense did enough to help us win, however we need some big improvements.

Trading for Kitna Was Just a Bad Move

I am hearing alot of people excited about the Cowboys trading for John Kitna, my question is why?

Kitna who will be 37 a month into the season is only a year younger than Brad Johnson was when he signed in Dallas back in 2006. Yes he has put up gawdy passing numbers in Detroit, but lets take a look at that.

In ’06 and ’07 he threw for more than 4,000 yards, pretty good numbers right? Well lets dig a little deeper, in 2006 the Lions were ranked 32nd in the league in rushing and in 2007 they were 31st. In 2006 only 2 other teams had attempted more passes than the Lions, and in 2007 only one other team had more attemps than the Lions. Do you see where I am going with this? Any average NFL quarterback can throw for 4,000 yards when your team’s running game is terrible and all you’re doing is chucking the ball up to guys like Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, and Mike Furrey. When your team is down that’s all you do is throw the ball and thats all Kitna did.

Not convinced yet? Ok how bout this, in 2006 Kitna was sacked 63 times, and in 2007 51 times. Just to give you a little comparison in 1990 Troy Aikman’s first 15 plus start season he was only sacked 39 times. In 2005 Drew Bledsoe seemed like he was being sacked at least once every series, and has always been known to take too many sacks, was sacked only 49 times. Kitna is not very mobile and more importantly not a smart quarterback with pressure heading his way.

Not convinced yet?? Well here is my final stat for you. Kitna has played 14 or more games in seven seasons, how many times do you think he has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions? Give up? That would be two! Only in 1999 in Seattle and 2003 with the Bengals has he done this.

What would be the reason we traded a starting defensive back for Kitna is beyond me. To save cap money? It was only a little over two million saved, so we would not get into a bidding war WHEN he was released? There are many back up quarterbacks out there that are just as good and a whole lot younger.

Pushing Tony for his position? Kitna has no prayer to start over Romo, if we wanted someone to push him we should have gone with Garcia.

We lost a starting defensive back (which we will have to replace with another veteran) for a late thirties average quarterback who was going to be released by the worst team in football.

Kitna is a Cowboy and I will root and love him just as I have for every player who has worn the star on his helmet, but god Tony please stay healthy!  

One Down….. Two To Go!!

Going into last weeks game vs Pittsburgh you would have thought that winning 3 out of the last 4 games to go 11-5 would be enough to get in the playoffs.  After a HUGE 20-8 win over the Giants it doesn’t look like much has changed.  In fact, it looks like the only way to get in is to win the last two games! 

Now I know that we responded last night with a big effort in a must win game. But the reality of the NFL is that we now have only six days to do it again versus one of the best defenses in the league. That being said you have to like to way things are going right now. The way the defense has played over the last 6 weeks, and the last 2 specifically, have made me a believer. 

All we have to do is get in. I laugh at those who have picked apart the Cowboys December record, last year in particular. The Cowboys had everything wrapped up going down the stretch and didnt really need to win any of those games.

IF we get in (and it still is really an IF) this team will be the most prepared to make a run than any Cowboy team over the past 4 years. Our playoffs started last night. No weeks off, no time for the media to ask questions about the Super Bowl.

I think the 3-4 road record is a bit decieving. Two of those games came with Brad Johnson at QB. Look at Romo’s road record. Look at the way the defense is playing. Look at T. Choice running the ball. If we get in we will be a VERY tough out …IF we get in.

 

From where I’m sitting:

  • MB3 is tough as nails. He adds toughness to the team. BUT both F. Jones and T. Choice are better runners. We will see if they become better running backs, but either way the Dallas running game is in good hands for years to come.
  • Patrick Crayton 1 catch, T.O 3 catches, Roy Williams 1 catch… how did Romo have 20 completions again?
  • BTW, Roy Williams is a hell of a blocker.
  • The defense certainly looks a little different with a healthy T Newman, huh?
  • When is the last time a Cowboy LB has had as good a year as Bradie James?